“We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.”
Romans 3:22 (New Living Translation)
Okay, so yesterday I took the plunge. Literally. That’s right. With courage in my heart, I climbed into my “big girls” bathing suit to go swimming at the pool. Thank goodness I could at least get it on. I walked out of the stall and inspected myself in the overly large mirror. Oh no. How did this happen again? Expansion instead of consolidation. I did not examine myself for very long, but instead decided it was pretty urgent to actually jump in the pool and do something about it.
So, I grabbed two towels and exited the locker room to the pool. As I walked through the little area that suddenly seemed to me to be designed for supermodels to make their spectacular entrance to the pool area, I dreaded what the lifeguards were going to see as I entered the scene. Jiggling jelly thighs for sure. I heard a whisper: “I love you no matter what.”
I parked my stuff in the most obscure place I could find, and climbed down the ladder into the pool. Ahhhhh…..it had been toooooo long. It felt so good to be in the pool again. Time to swim some lengths. One (“this feels great”)…..two (“this is awesome”)…..three (“not so bad now, is it?”)…..four (“uh oh., what’s this?”)…..five (“my arms are hurting”)…..six (“my arms are killing me!”). Six lengths and I had to take a break. Two years ago, I could swim 40, 60, maybe more, lengths without taking a break – and it wasn’t my arms that hurt, but my lungs. Good grief, how quickly things change. Again, the whisper: “I love you no matter what. It is going to take some time to get back into it again.”
What a beautiful evening it was – the temp was in the low 70’s so not many people were in the pool. I floated in the shallow end to catch my breath and let my arms calm down a little bit before attempting a few more lengths. Beautiful, quiet evening. Just a few little girls’ laughter and chatter floating in the breeze, and the sound of the water lapping against the side of the pool, were all very soothing sounds and encouraged me to let my mind rest and just enjoy His gift of this moment. Enjoy it I did. How kind God is to encourage me like this.
Back to it…..one (“let’s not do the crawl anymore”)…..two (“the sidestroke is working a bit better”)…..three (“hurting again already?!?!”)…..four (“time to get out of the pool for the day”). As I swam over to the ladder to climb out, I started identifying the body parts that hurt. Swimming is a great workout as it works more muscles that any other sport. My feet hurt (couple of cramps in the toes), my legs hurt, my lungs hurt, my arms hurt – it seemed like everything hurt.
I climbed out and decided I’d sunbathe just a little bit despite my lack of supermodel status. I lugged myself over to the sunbathing area, laid back in one of the reclining chairs, and basked in the glow of the sun. Ahhhhh……that felt goooooood. As the sun warmed me up, the hurts began to melt away. In a moment, I let go of any remaining negative self-thoughts I had, and any concerns over how others might see me. As the sun sent its caressing rays to warm every inch of me, I thought instead “Who cares what the others see? The sun loves me no matter what.”
Just as the Son, Jesus Christ, loves us no matter what.